John Kerry - A Winner, Good for Women
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|Tue, 07-08-2003 - 7:33am|
Kerry says he'll filibuster Supreme Court nominees who do not support abortion rights
Friday June 20, 2003
By: Nedra Pickler
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday that he is prepared to block any Supreme Court nominee who would not uphold the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
''I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary, any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties and on the laws protecting workers and the environment,'' Kerry said . . .
''We applaud Senator Kerry and every senator and presidential candidate who pledges to do whatever it takes to protect our fundamental right to privacy and a woman's right to choose,'' said Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement.
Kerry also has said if elected president he would only appoint judges who support Roe v. Wade, while his opponents for the nomination say they would not impose a litmus test on nominees.
. . .
Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee said the position taken by Kerry and Edwards is not surprising considering their votes for abortion rights, including their opposition to the procedure that abortion foes call ''partial birth'' abortion.
''Five justices on the current Supreme Court said that Roe v. Wade guarantees the right of abortionists to perform even partial-birth abortions, and that is the Roe v. Wade that Kerry and Edwards would filibuster to defend,'' Johnson said.
. . .
None of the nine current Supreme Court justices has announced plans to retire, but Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 78, and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 73, are considered the most likely possibilities. Both would prefer that a Republican president pick their successors.
Republicans control the Senate by two votes; there are 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats and one independent. But Democrats can block any potential nominee through a filibuster if they can get 41 votes.
Senate Democrats have used a filibuster to block President Bush's nominations of two federal judges this year.
Edited 7/8/2003 7:40:56 AM ET by sh2004